DOR is listening – particularly DOR’s Taxpayer Advocate and the Commissioner – and hearing taxpayers' and practitioners' voices loud and clear. DOR has launched multiple surveys regarding different DOR functions and processes. The agency-wide goal is to improve user experience, and the insight from survey feedback helps pave the way. The results are in, and the Department is already taking appropriate steps in response.
Just last year DOR asked practitioners who file Form 355U for combined reporting to share input on the challenges of that filing. After a thoughtful review of the feedback, DOR made changes to the 355U Forms with the hopes of easing the filing process. DOR eliminated three forms, simplified another and modified others to allow for a more convenient transfer of data from an IRS filing. Other changes include revised easy-to-follow instructions and new error messages that clearly identify any technical issues before form submission.
In response to the Child Support surveys, the Child Support Unit has already made modifications to its website to make popular resources easier to find and understand. Additional information has also been posted to help noncustodial parents who have fallen behind in making payments get back on track. In an effort to improve customer service within the Child Support Unit, the staff joined training workshops focused on the benefits of working with noncustodial parents throughout the Commonwealth.
Insight from the Department of Local Services’ surveys has encouraged a wide range of changes. Most notably, survey responses called for drastic changes in the DLS website – and DLS responded to improve user navigation. Additionally, DLS implemented several new changes to its data reporting system to allow for easier local revenue reporting and added a “Contact Us” page to help bridge the gap of direct communication with local communities.
The opinions of taxpayers are very important, and DOR is committed to making the taxpayer experience with the Department a positive one. Thank you to those who took the time to provide feedback. DOR will continue to take input seriously by showing results.